Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I'm not superstitious. It wouldn't bother me to step on a crack in the sidewalk while walking under a ladder with a black cat under each arm on Friday 13th. And no, I didn't knock on wood after writing that sentence.

In spite of my fervent disbelief, I almost converted this past weekend. We were paged to a plane crash on Friday (it turned out that no one was injured). On Saturday we responded to a vehicle crash. On Sunday I mentioned to a friend that our calls seemed to come in groups of three, and in spite of my non-superstitious convictions, I half expected to get another page in the next 24 hours.

Monday morning the pagers went off again. A vehicle upsidedown in the water with someone still inside. What a way to perpetuate the myth.

We got to the scene and found two Good Samaritans standing on the shoulder, wet to the waist. They had witnessed the crash, waded into the near freezing water, got the door open and pulled the driver out. I guess if someone has to fulfill Upsala Fire Department's destiny, they might as well have the good luck to do it when a couple of quick-thinking MNR employees happen to be driving by. Thanks Kip and Dave. We owe you one.

I don't believe in luck either, by the way.
It's the Northern Lights season again. Not that the Aurora Borealis is fussy about the time of year, but our short summer nights offer fewer opportunities to see them. Last night was a particularly brilliant show, and was reportedly seen as far south as Atlanta and Memphis. If you missed them, click here for a video. My brother is a camera guy and captured some nice photos, which I'll share once they are uploaded.

Here's some Youtube footage from New York.

Folks in the Middle Ages thought the Northern Lights portended plague or war . . . but there was so much plague and war going on that anything could have been thought to portend them.

Far from doom and gloom, I have fond memories from my teens and early twenties of wandering around on winter nights staring at the dome of lights that extended from north to south, and east to west. I remember feeling like I was standing in a celestial cathedral, listening to a choir that sang in rythm with the flickering, quivering  light show.

This is supposed to be a good year for Northern Lights, by the way. I think it portends a mild winter. Hey, if I'm going to perpetuate a myth, I might as well perpetuate one I like.

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